With it being Super Bowl Sunday, I thought it would be appropriate to address the state of the Houston Texans and their pursuit of reaching the Super Bowl. After hitting rock bottom this season after an off-season filled with Super Bowl hopes and aspirations, the Texans look to be in re-building mode (although owner Bob McNair does not see it this way). Where do the Texans go from here? They have already cemented their new head coach, Bill O’Brien, who seems to have already filled up his coaching staff. With the draft being months away, different media pundits and mock drafters are already stating who will be the best option for the franchise going forward. Will it be Teddy Bridgewater? Johnny Manziel? Blake Bortles? Jadeveon Clowney? It really is anyone’s guess at this point, although beat writer John McClain thinks the Texans are leaning towards taking a quarterback. Nonetheless, in order for the Texans to rebound from a horrible season and make it back to the playoffs, three things need to happen: they must draft a great quarterback, have the defense rebound, and re-take the division.
One of the essential parts for this Texans team is to find a franchise quarterback. After several up and down years from Matt Schaub, the Texans are in need of someone who can get them to the next level. Matt Schaub was a good quarterback. Not a great one, but a good one. He was not the sole reason for the team’s demise, but we was a large, large part. By drafting a young quarterback with this year’s first overall pick, the Texans will hopefully have their quarterback of the future and one that can come in and learn quickly under O’Brien. O’Brien developed both Matt McGloin and Christian Mackenberg into reasonably successful quarterbacks, so it would seem like he would be able to work wonders with the first overall pick. Although Jadeveon Clowney would be a huge talent to add to the defense, he is not as essential to the team’s overall success as a quarterback is.
The defense also needs to rebound from a lackluster season. The Texans started the season with high expectations on the defensive side of the ball due to J.J. Watt’s emergence as the best defensive player in the NFL, Brian Cushing’s return from an ACL injury, and the addition of ball-hawk Ed Reed. However, because of the offensive’s poor performance all year, the defensive was constantly put in precarious situations. Even when they were not put in these situations, the Texans’ defense still failed to stop anybody. The defense must rebound under Romeo Crennel, the Texans’ new defensive coordinator, and come out this year motivated and ready to avenge last year’s season.
Lastly, the Texans need to re-take the AFC South. After winning the South two straight years, the Texans faltered this season and the Indianapolis Colts took advantage. If the Texans do not want to see another string of years with the Colts winning their division, they must take pride in their divisional games and win every one of them. The Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars finished with a better record than the Texans, but neither team has the talent on both sides of the ball like Houston does. Indianapolis has Andrew Luck and solid supporting cast to compliment him. If the Texans are to re-take the South, they need their quarterback play to drastically improve and their defense to do the same.
If all three of these factors occur, the Texans have a very good chance of getting back into the playoffs. If only one or two occur, the Texans may be looking at another long, long season.